Chickamauga Chase Adds Trail Run to 45-year Tradition through Salomon Rock/Creek Trail Series

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Race organizers from the Chickamauga Chase and the Salomon Rock/Creek Trail Series invite runners to a trail race taking place on April 20th at the Chickamauga Battlefield.

Chickamauga Chase Logo

Chickamauga Chase Logo

This year’s race will mark the kickoff event for the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Battle of Chickamauga & Chattanooga.

The 45th running of the Chickamauga Chase on April 20th, 2013 will include something new: a trail race. This historic footrace has included various distance options for many years, but this will be the first trail option.

Randy Whorton calls the inaugural Chattanooga Chase Trail Race "unique among the 10 events in our trail running series." Whorton, the Salomon Rock/Creek Trail Series race director, says "this will be unique for Chattanooga trail running. Unlike most of our races, you can see your competition. The course takes runners through the open spaces of the battlefield, so you'll be able to keep an eye on your competition." The trail will be about 8 miles long, with a final measuring to take place soon. An approximate trail map has been posted on the event website.

Rock/Creek and their trail series title sponsor Salomon will make the trail race happen, and the road race options will continue in partnership with the Chattanooga Track Club.

Chattanooga investment banker George Skonberg will direct the race for his 18th year this year, and the event will mark the kickoff of the Sesquicentennial Commemoration of the Battle of Chickamauga & Chattanooga. While the trail running option is new, the race and the course are both steeped in history.

Skonberg reminds runners of the historical significance of the park: "One hundred fifty years ago in the autumn of 1863, in and around strategic Chattanooga, some of the harshest and most complex battles of America's Civil War occurred... Historians who chronicle America’s story acknowledge Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park as one of the major sites commemorating the Civil War that defined us as a nation."

The race will be capped, but the final number of trail runners depends on how many people sign up for the road race. The trail race will be limited to 400, and as Skonberg explains: "Our permit with the National Park Service has a hard cap of 2,000 total participants – all events. For reference, last year's participation was 1,649. Given the addition of the Trail Race, I expect the event to fill in 2013, and fill early. Obviously, it is in your best interest to register early."

Proceeds from this race benefit Friends of the Park. Racers who wish to support the Friends group may also purchase a $150 "Sesquicentennial Partner" entry. The last 100 entries (#1900-2000) will be reserved for these runners. Established in 1986, this group is a 501©(3) not-for-profit organization that serves as an advocate for the Chickamauga & Chattanooga National Military Park, helping to preserve, promote and enhance its resources for the benefit of the public.

As with any race this size, volunteers are needed. "Please let me know if you want to volunteer; there are a lot of fun jobs open and we'd love to have you" Skonberg says.

About Rock/Creek & Wild Trails

Rock/Creek, founded in 1987, has become one of the most respected specialty outdoor retailers in the country. With top brands like Patagonia, Salomon, The North Face, and Chaco Sandals, the retailer has become a top online destination at while retaining a solid footing in Chattanooga. The retailer will open its fifth brick-and-mortar location in Fall 2013. With Salomon trail running, the retailer has built the premier trail race series in the South. Proceeds from the series benefit Rock/Creek's nonprofit, Wild Trails, which in turn promotes the use, expansion and protection of area trail systems.

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Mark McKnight
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